tv BBC World News WHUT October 7, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
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>> and now, "bbc world news." >> hungary's wave of toxic sludge could cause an environmental catastrophe. it's now reached the river da -- danube. double suicide attacks at a sue fee mosque in karachi in pakistan. failing the people it was supposed to help, the u.n. is accused of bungling the relief operation for victims of haiti's earthquake. welcome to "bbc world news," broadcast to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. coming up later, nine years after the u.s.-led invasion in afghanistan, the daily cycle of violence grinds on. we have a special report. and a peek inside the big top
for a look at what could be europe's last gypsy circus. >> more on those worries now that hungary's wave of sludge could cause that environment ool disaster. the chemical flood that burst out of that plan at the beginning of the week has reached the danube river. it could reach half a dozen countries if its contaminates the danube, which is europe's second longest river. the prime minister called it an ecological tragedy. >> after the deluge, the cleanup. hungary is throwing everything it has at this operation. the fire brigade and police from many county the army, countless volunteers, coordinating that effort is not easy. the government has ordered a
criminal investigation. the prime minister says everything possible will be done to help the victims and find those responsible. >> the pollution is the more serious thing after the losing of human life because we don't know exactly what the size is, not physically, but in terms of depth and the seriousness of the special materials. i think it's a serious ecological catastrophe. >> in the ruins of places like kolonta and other places, people are searching for anything that can be salvaged from the ruins of their homes. >> we have last lost -- lost everything. my mother has no insurance. our whole life, the house, the furniture, the groceries, our pets, everything is ruined. >> four people were killed on the first day of the accident, and three elderly people are still missing. hope of finding them alive is almost zero. local people say this was a disaster just waiting to happen.
50 years of highly toxic industrial waste purged just up -- perched up the valley waiting to inundate their village. as time goes by, the issue of compensation is being raised more and more forcefully. emergency services have confirmed traces of pollutants have reached the river danube and fish have started dying. clay is being dumped into rivers to try to neutralize the toxins and monitoring is taking place continually. >> pakistani official says at least nine people have been killed in a double explosion in a prominent sue fee luzz -- muslim shrine. there has been an upsurge on those whose practices they consider impure.
>> it came at a time to cause maximum mayhem and death. thursday night is the busiest night at the shrine, many come to pray and food is distributed to the poor. security was lax even though shrines are a target for militants. >> it seems they are suicide bombings and one of them was rushed through the security gate and exploded where we are standing and the other one, they were checking him and he blew himself up at the gate. >> pakistan's president was in the city and was quick to condemn the blast he blamed the violence on people who want to impose what he calls an extremist lifestyle and mine mindset on our country.
this is the latest in a growing number of attacks on shrines especially in the west of the country. islamic extremists in the area have a history of attacking those whose practices they see as less pure. the vast majority of victims were shia, but sunni groups with roots in sue fism have been targeted as well. it serves as a warning and a a -- an attempt to deter people from worshiping at the shrines in the way they've followed for hundreds of years. >> the united nations has defended itself against accusations that it has failed victims of the earthquake that hit haiti in january. it's been criticized for the running of camps, it's said that
rape and sex for food are common plate. >> the aid is never enough when disaster hits a country like haiti. how could it be? the needs of the population were huge before the earthquake. some people in the camps are so poor they don't want to leave them, because if they did, they'd have to pay rent to landlords. but the damning report by refugees international said the homeless don't have the basic protections. there's no privecy, domestic violence and rape are common. and according to the report, patrols are rare. the u.n. says it agrees with some of the criticisms and was working on the issues but the scale of the problem was huge. nearly 10 months after the earthquake, there are still 1.3 million homeless people living in over 1,000 camps in public scares or on waste ground. some aid arrives, but not
anywhere near what was promised by the outside world. >> we still have many schools to buildmark teachers to trainmark learning materials to get and a plan to have universal enrollment. that's the most important thing but we need a lot of money for it. >> before the earthquake, haitians had no faith in most of their own political leaders, who they condemned as corrupt and incompetent. there was a brief period just after the quake hit when they hoped the international community would do better. but most of that faith has now been lost as well. mark doyle, bbc news. >> the head of the international monetary fund has warned about the danger of what called a currency war breaking out between china and the western nations he said he takes the threat very seriously and the i.m.f. will put forward proposals to avoid such a
conflict. the u.s. says the yuan is undervalued to an extend it amounts to a subsidy for exported goods from china. there have been promises of improved life for ordinary people but have any of those promises been met? our bureau chief is leaving kabul after two years of reporting from all over the country. this is his last dispatch on muslims living here. >> life is a kayly -- daily struggle for a handful of dollars. half begans are tough, self-sufficient but need two things most of us take for granted. peace and a little prosperity. it's something few here have ever known. i've taken one last journey to the north to see what's happening to the country and the people living there.
this is the city's main bus station. it's long been one of the safest parts of afghanistan, immune from violence elsewhere. even here, things are changing. the drivers complain the roads in the north aren't safe anymore and every day they must run the gauntlet of men with guns. we decided to come to this bus station because this is how most afghans get around the country. there's a large crowd of people waiting to take this bus from here to kabul. it's a good indication of how violence has grown because these people and the driver are taking a risk a risk from bandits and the taliban. this pattern is pretty much repeated across the country now. in the last two years, i've watched violence spread, thousands of innocent people killed, families driven from their homes, caught in the middle of a battle they neither chose nor wavent.
-- nor want. and the people who should be keeping them safe are struggling. i joined a police convoy heading out of town. i wanted to meet the new police chief a fighter who spent most of his life on the front line and now faces a growing battle against insurgents in the north. >> as you know the situation in the north was good, now is not bad but there's some districts that increase the number of attacks. >> the military say they now have the right strategy and forces to win this war but the fight has been far harder ever expected. there were too few signs of progress. the story of the last two years sounds bleak but it isn't the whole picture. despite the dangers many say they're better off, even women who suffered horrific abuse.
prostituted by her husband, feared for her life, imprisoned by her brother, forced to be a second wife. four women, all abused by their family, now living in one of the city's secret shelters. >> our lives are full of violence and problems, even from childhood. there's a lot of violence in our lives. >> but incredibly, they all say they're still better off now. that at least they have courts to appeal to and shelts to hide in and amid the chaos and fear life still goes on. our final stop was a wedding party where men and women dance and celebrate, albeit in separate rooms. the groom told me proudly, his was an affair of the heart, not an arranged marriage, a young
man starting a new life in a troubled country, but with faith that things will get better. >> the future of afghanistan is bright because we have the support of the international community, so i see a bright future. >> this is the country i've come to know. a wild and beautiful land. blighted by poverty and a war that got steadily worse. but where parents still dare to hope their children will live in peace. >> you're watching "bbc world news" from london. still to come. >> ♪ happy birthday to you happy birthday to you ♪ >> birthday greetings for prime minister putin. what do you get the man who has everything? we'll tell you.
>> a russian spacecraft is preparing to blast off for a trip to the international space station, it will carry two russians and an american. we have this report from our correspondent, daniel sanford. >> there it is, the soyuz space rocket being carried and behind it, all the left over space architecture from more than 50 years of the soviet space industry. it's kind of an industrial wasteland set in this semidesert land. it's extraordinary to think this is the future of the american space program for the next few years because when the space shuttle program ends that 1960's russian rocket is the only way for american astronauts to get into space. this is the soyuz rocket close
up. you can see at the back end there, four booster rockets, which get the thing under way in the first place. then there's the main section of the rocket, again in two stages, and here at the top is the main fuel and at the end of that is where astronaut oors cosmonauts or in this case both will be sitting as the rocket blasts off into space on its way to the international space station. this will be the 464th launch from this pad, the very same platform from where sputnik was sent into space. the same place yuri gargarin, the first man in space, started his great adventure. on friday morning this rocket will be launched up to the international space station with an american board and very soon, it will be the only way for an
american to get into space. >> this is "bbc world news." the authorities in hungary say traces of toxic sludge which flooded out of an industrial plant on monday have reached the river danube and at least nine people have been killed in two explosions at a sue fee shrine in karachi. the kenyan government says it's banned more than 1,000 teachers for sexually abusing young girls. most of the victims were aged between 12 and 15, some of the abusers have been jailed and a nationwide helpline has been set up to help the victims. earlier we spoke to the head of the bbc's swahili service and asked him about the reaction in kenya to this news. >> you would expect an amount of shock to an extent, thinking
number one, do we think this has been going on or not? it has been going on but to what extent, nobody knows. there will be shock in the country that we did not know the skill of thing was going on in school. this raises another question, how are schools able to investigate before they reach the limits you are hearing about. >> it is archbishop desmond tutu's 77th birthday and he has decided it's time to bow out of public life. he is one of the heroes in the struggle against apartheid. >> we will be free! >> freedom is not cheap. >> a man described as the conscience of south africa, arch wish scholl desmond tutu has gained iconic status, but the
icon is now standing down. he was a key player in his country's long walk to freedom, thrusting himself into the front line of the struggle against white minority rule. remember this moment when he intervened in a -- as a township mob tried to lynch a suspected undercover policeman. he pleaded with the crowd to leave the man alone. >> reconciliation commission is now in session. >> it was that sense of compassion that saw him cheer the truth and reconciliation commission a year after the arrival of democracy. testimonies of those who suffered the evils of apartheid often seemed too hard to bear. >> we at least said we wanted to look the beast in the eye. and we must allow people to tell their stories.
>> south africa has charted a unique course. but now, the cleric, adored as much for his infectious laughter as for his strong stance, is stepping out of the limelight to allow a new generation to glow. >> one month from today, burma holds its first leches in 20 years. the country's military rulers have banned the opposition leader from running and her party refuses to stand without her. the bbc is banned from burma, but one of our correspondents managed to gain access. we are withholding her name. >> burma's long-suffering people are being asked to vote in an election for the first time in 20 years. in 1990, they handed victory to
soo-chi, political icon -- democracy icon and political prisoner. she's currently under house arrest and is not allowed to stand for the election. her party refuses to run without her. we went undercover to meet one of the party leaders. complying with new election laws, he told me, would have meant abandoning her and hundreds of others who sacrificed their freedom to fight for democracy. the election is being meticulously planned by the man who has controlled burma since 1992, seenor general kanshwe. this is a game played by his rules on his timetable. some opposition figures are
throwing their hats in the ring, including a breakaway faction of her party. we went to meet the new group's chairman a former political prisoner, now in his 70's. >> it's been difficult he says, not lyse buzz of sharp criticism from former colleagues. but the new party is determined to offer voters a choice. others say it's betraying the democracy movement's long struggle. it's a division centered on a dilemma. does burma's election offer people a chance of something better, no matter how small, or is it a sham that will leave them as powerless as ever? >> one of the top stories in europe, when the roma people should be evicted from france is
causing huge controversy. the french president said the country is entitled to expel those who cannot support themselves but what about those who can? the crackdown could force europe's last roma circus to pull down the big top forever. >> with trumpets and violins, jugglers and dancers, the cirque romanus has been entertaining france for decades. earlier this year, they were paid to represent france at the world expo. but suddenly they find themselves in the midst of the government's concerted campaign to expel hundreds of illegal roma gypsies. the labor ministry has refused the french circus owner the work permits he needs for two of his top romanian musicians. >> my father had a big circus in france. i set up a smaller circus.
i wanted it to stay that way, keep alive the gypsy tradition. >> at the end of each show, the musicians retire to their caravans but this is hardly one of the 300 makeshift camps the president had in his sights. it's swept every day. anyone who is here works hard for their money. this violinist who fled romania in the 1980's to escape the regime says his family has known nothing else but the circus. >> what is happening, i don't know. all these things about work permits. we need more musicians to survive. for the atmosphere, for the people coming, what can we do with just the four of us? it's not an orchestra. >> the immigration minister denies there's a political
motivation. he's responding, he said, to a labor ministry report that accuses the circus owner of underpaying his performers and misusing child performers, including his daughter, who loves to dance. they have started a petition and gathered 13,000 signatures so far. this is the last gypsy circus in europe, possibly in the world. unless the french ministry look more favorably on their cause, the big top may be lowered for the last time. >> the peruvian letter writer mario vargas has won the 2010 nobel prize for literature. he's one of the spanish-speaking world's most acclaimed authors who has written plays and
essays, including "conversations in the cathedral" and "the green room." russian president putin is celebrating his 58th birthday. but what do you get the man who has everything? >> russia's prime minister gets some odd birthday presents. he was fwiven this replica of the czar's crown and it was -- it was made to measure. he was present bd a tiger cub one year. but this year, he has a more practical gift, a 2011 calendar, entitled, we love you, happy birthday, mr. putin. students have bared almost everything to wish their hero well. student tanya, she says all women need a man like putin. flip over to february and we see ambingts nika, saying she want mrs. putin to be president again
for the third time. it's putin's action man image that makes some russians keen to be on his wall. on russian tv he's more indiana jones than david cameron. coverage like this has turned him into the pinup of russian politics. there are even pop songs about him. a girl band signals their love for him. >> he's an intelligent man, he's smart and attractive. ♪ happy birthday to you >> they authored the calendar. >> ♪ happy birthday prime minister happy birthday to you ♪ >> a reminder of our top story, the toxic chemical sludge from
the factory on monday has reached the danube and could affect dozens of countries across central europe. >> see the news unfold. get the top stories from around the globe and click to play video reports. go to bbc.com/news to experience the in-depth, expert reporting of "bbc world news" online. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank. ♪
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